MARAWI CITY- Local officials here asked Malacañang Monday to include them in the task force in charge of the rehabilitation of the war-torn city.
Zia Alonto Adiong, Marawi Crisis Management Committee spokesperson, said the local government was only mentioned in a paragraph of President Rodrigo Duterte's Administrative Order No. 3.
Section 2 of the order creating Task Force Bangon Marawi states that the chairperson of the Task Force "may" call upon local government units to assist in the rehabilitation.
"We reiterate our appeal to national leadership to include representation of our people to be part of the inter-agency Task Force Bangon Marawi. In the identification of priorities, we request to be included," Adiong said.
Members of the task force include the Departments of Health, Energy, Education, Budget, Science and Technology, Interior and Local Government, and Information and Communications Technology, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Duterte assigned Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to head the task force, while Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar was assigned as vice chair.
Adiong said local officials want to at least be part of planning their own city's rehabilitation so they could recommend and comment appropriately as representatives of Marawi.
"Gusto lang natin yung makasama sa basic planning stage, pag-identify sa areas na kailangan i-rehab... Para may sense of ownership 'yung mga victims of Marawi," the official said.
Military air strikes continued in the conflict zone on Wednesday, the 51st day of the siege, as Islamic State-linked Maute terrorists held pockets of resistance in several structures in the city.
More than 500 have been killed, most of them terror suspects, in the long-drawn fighting. The city's roughly 230,000 residents have meanwhile been forced to flee as the conflict left much of their hometown in ruins.
Adiong is hoping the government would also be aggressive in providing help to the internally displaced, especially those enduring dire conditions in evacuation centers.
"We want to appeal before them to provide us the necessary needs of our IDPs in terms of health, security, water supply, medicines, and make it more proper for them to live in evacuation centers," he said.